Learn how to select the best eCommerce website platform to create a profitable online store. This thorough guide covers all the necessary elements, advantages, and best practices to advance your eCommerce business.
A good eCommerce website builder allows you to list your products, accept payments, and handle delivery all from the convenience of your home office. With the correct tools, any small business can easily start selling online and join the gold rush.
I looked at more than 50 different approaches to creating eCommerce websites while compiling this list. There are options for every type of business, from independent artists to large multinationals, but for this list,
I concentrated on the platforms that best meet the requirements of small and medium businesses, particularly those that are just starting to explore selling things online or in person.
Not that my recommendations won’t apply to different types of enterprises, but whether your monthly sales are $5 million in potatoes or a few dollars in Lightroom presets, you might want to look elsewhere. (However, you can scroll to the bottom to see some possibilities for business eCommerce.)
The top 7 eCommerce Website Platforms Are Detailed below.
What is an eCommerce platform?
An eCommerce website platform is a piece of internet software that helps companies to launch and maintain online shops. It offers a complete set of features and tools required for developing, promoting, and selling goods and services online.
The management of the product catalog, handling of payments, inventory control, order fulfillment, and customer relationship management are all made possible by these systems.
The platform frequently comes with capabilities for tracking performance and gaining insightful data, like shopping cart systems, safe payment methods, editable website layouts, and analytics tools.
Businesses may reach a worldwide audience, improve their online presence, and manage their operations with the help of an eCommerce platform, providing customers with a simple and convenient shopping experience.
An eCommerce website platform is the building block for starting and expanding a prosperous online business, regardless of how big or little the firm is.
What characteristics define the top eCommerce website builder?
I selected five important aspects that each platform has to provide for typical small and medium enterprises wishing to sell physical products online (or at least a mix of physical and digital products).
There are more excellent eCommerce website platforms, but if they lack a feature on the list, they didn’t make the cut since they are probably too specialized for most firms.
- Without a computer science or graphic design degree, a person with average tech skills should be able to create a nice-looking, responsive, modern online store using the tools and themes provided. You should be able to use these recommendations if you can set up an email account on your iPhone. The website builders also had to let you customize anything to coordinate with your current brand materials. This one criterion actually eliminated a good number of platforms from consideration since they were either overly restricted with dull, incredibly identical, or obsolete themes, or they required too much technical expertise to use to their fullest potential.
- You need to have the freedom to sell anything you want, anywhere you want, and however you want. As a result, it needed to be capable of handling both physical and digital goods, as well as provide a mechanism to handle sales taxes and international shipping. This final point is crucial for small businesses since you can be responsible for submitting and collecting various types of taxes if you have physical locations or want to sell overseas.
- Only full-service eCommerce platforms were taken into account. You need to be able to sell your products online while also managing orders, shipping merchandise, keeping track of inventory, and taking care of various back-end operations and admin tasks for your eCommerce store without using a third-party service or (please no) a mammoth spreadsheet.
- Any platform you select must work well with any additional apps and services your company uses. Due to this, I made it a requirement that the apps on this list have a variety of connectors, either through a marketplace for plug-ins and extensions or built-in features. Orders ought to be able to be sent directly to your accounting program.
- All of this needed to be offered for a transparent and reasonable monthly fee. Opaque costs were strongly discouraged, and while done-for-your options are fantastic, they come with a hefty monthly price tag that is much over what an SMB would normally need to spend to set up an eCommerce website.
I created an account and…an online store to test out all the different online store builders! I completed the sign-up process, created a straightforward website, added a few products, and overall took all the necessary actions for a platform newcomer. Actually, starting to sell was the only thing I didn’t do.
This helped me to determine whether they fit my primary requirements and gave me adequate information about the majority of eCommerce website builders.
From there, I was able to compare and contrast the numerous possibilities to determine which eCommerce builders would work best for the majority of users.
How to Choose the Right eCommerce Website Building Platform
Creating an online store has become essential for business growth and success in the quickly changing digital market. Finding the best eCommerce Website platform for your online store is crucial given the rising popularity of eCommerce.
However, the wealth of choices can frequently leave business owners feeling overloaded and unclear about which platform to pick.
Fear not; we, knowledgeable SEO specialists and copywriters, are here to help you navigate this crucial decision-making process and make sure that your online business succeeds in the extremely competitive online industry.
Understanding your unique needs as a business is crucial before we venture into the world of eCommerce Website platforms. Each online store is distinct, serving various markets, demographics, and product categories.
You may speed up the platform selection process and choose the best option that precisely complements your business goals by thoroughly analyzing your requirements.
1: Evaluating User-Friendliness and Intuitiveness
The user-friendliness and intuitiveness of the platform you select are important elements that will affect your online store’s success. In order to keep clients and promote repeat business, a streamlined and seamless user experience is essential.
Look for a drag-and-drop feature, a user-friendly design, and simple navigation in a website construction platform. Because of this, managing and customizing an online business is made simple for even those with no technical expertise.
2: Scalability and Flexibility
You surely have high ideas for the expansion of your online store. Choose an eCommerce Website Platform that offers scalability and flexibility as a result.
You want a platform that will be flexible enough to develop along with your company, supporting an expanded product line, more users, and more features as your brand grows.
3: Mobile Responsiveness and Performance
Having a mobile-responsive online business is no longer optional in an era where mobile devices predominately drive internet traffic. Because Google’s search algorithms favor responsive websites, having a non-responsive website might hurt your search rankings and organic visitors.
As a result, give platforms that provide responsive themes priority, and make sure that your online store works flawlessly on a variety of devices and screen sizes.
4: SEO Features and Capabilities
Ah, SEO – the basis for all of our efforts to outperform rivals! Strong SEO features and capabilities must be included in the ideal website-building platform. This includes things like flexible meta tags, URL patterns, sitemaps, and quick loading times.
You can increase your chances of ranking higher on Google and other search engines and attracting organic traffic to your online business by making sure that your platform has these crucial SEO components.
5: Integration with Third-Party Tools and Apps
To improve client experience and streamline operations, you must use a variety of tools and apps if you want to succeed in the world of eCommerce.
Search for a platform for constructing websites that easily interact with well-liked third-party solutions, such as payment gateways, email marketing platforms, and inventory management systems.
This integration will enable you to build a thorough and functional online store that efficiently meets the needs of your clients.
6: Security and Payment Gateway Support
Security is of the utmost importance when it comes to online buying. Your clients must have faith in the security of their private and financial information. Select a platform for creating eCommerce websites that place a high priority on security and support reputable and secure payment methods.
This not only increases your client’s faith in your business but also safeguards it against online fraud and other potential risks.
7: Customer Support and Resources
No matter how tech smart you are, having dependable customer assistance from your preferred platform can make all the difference. Having a committed support team on hand to help you is invaluable since technical problems or inquiries will always emerge.
Choose a platform that offers a thorough knowledge base, video tutorials, and community forums to give you access to helpful materials and keep you informed about new platform features and upgrades.
8: Analyzing Pricing and Costs
Pricing is a major factor in choosing the best eCommerce Website platform for your online store, as it is with any business choice. While it may be tempting to choose the least expensive choice, it is important to weigh the overall value and services provided.
While some platforms may have greater upfront expenses yet offer many functionality, others may be more cost-effective but lack the necessary functions. Making the best selection for your online store involves considerable thought and study when selecting the best eCommerce website-building platform.
You can make an informed decision that positions your online business for success by being aware of your unique requirements, concentrating on usability, scalability, and SEO capabilities, and weighing aspects like mobile responsiveness, integration, security, and customer service.
Take your time to weigh your options and make a decision that is in line with your business objectives now that you have some insightful knowledge about the world of eCommerce platforms.
Keep in mind that your online store serves as the digital embodiment of your company, thus choosing the proper platform is an investment in your future prosperity.
Top 7 Best eCommerce Website Platforms for Your Business in 2024
An online business uses an eCommerce platform to manage all of its merchant buying needs and its own seller needs. Product pages, reviews, transactions, order fulfillment, and refunds are some examples of these requirements.
The most effective e-commerce platform depends on your distinct business model and expansion strategy. Here is a summary of some of the top e-commerce platforms for 2024 to assist you in choosing the ideal one for your company.
- Big Cartel
Shopify – Best Overall eCommerce Website Platform
The best software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-commerce platform is likely Shopify. You may sell directly through your website, at your retail location, on social media and third-party marketplaces, and everywhere in between thanks to our sophisticated platform’s complimentary tools and drop shipping features.
Select from more than 100 paid and free themes to launch your business quickly and with no learning curve.
Additionally, Shopify manages every area of your company; you can create a full business command center using our best-in-class toolkit. Low transaction costs are used for payment processing by Shop Pay, in-person sales are managed by Shopify POS, and product delivery can be assisted by Shopify Fulfillment.
You won’t have to pay more as your business expands and your traffic increases because it also includes unlimited bandwidth and online storage. Additionally, USPS, UPS, DHL Express, and other shipping companies offer affordable delivery rates to Shopify customers.
These are just a few of the numerous effective apps that are a part of the Shopify ecosystem and operate harmoniously together. You can further customize your Shopify experience by using one of the many third-party apps in our wide library.
For business owners, Shopify provides a free email marketing service, abandoned cart recovery, search engine optimization, and many native tools.
The Shopify mobile app provides nearly identical functionality for managing your business online or on a mobile device, including capabilities for order fulfillment, product addition, real-time sales and inventory updates, and more.
- Quick start and efficient onboarding
- Adaptable themes
- Quick and trustworthy websites
- community assistance
- fantastic internal marketing tools
- Sell everywhere, both offline and online.
- access to the Shopify App Store’s more than 6,000 apps
- Great SEO right out of the gate
- Getting a custom domain is simple
- Shopify Payments are limited to some countries
- Basic Shopify: $39/month;
- Shopify: $105/month;
- Advanced Shopify: $399/month
Wix – Best value for money
Wix is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder that provides customizable templates, web hosting, and domain name registration. A simple website can be created at no cost, but Wix’s eCommerce features require a premium plan, which you must upgrade to.
Wix includes a few useful tools for eCommerce functionality. The software enables retailers to manage orders, take online payments, market their goods through various channels, and launch abandoned cart campaigns.
It does not include a few essential components, though, which are especially important for product-based enterprises. Low-stock notifications and other essential inventory management functions are absent, which is a drawback.
You’ll need a platform with more advanced inventory-tracking tools if you have more than 10 or so products. A third-party app is also required for social commerce integrations.
Pros of Wix:
- 100% hosted
- Simple to use
- Forever-free offer
- Lots of assistance
Cons of Wix:
- Analytics and tracking demand for a premium plan.
- The site cannot be transferred
- Forces of free will Branding Wix
- 100% hosted
- Simple to use
- Forever-free offer
- Lots of assistance
- Analytics and tracking demand for a premium plan.
- The site cannot be transferred
- Forces of free will Branding Wix
- Business Basic: $23/month;
- Business Unlimited: $27/month;
- Business VIP: $49/month.
BigCommerce – Best for Big Companies
Enterprise-level software companies use BigCommerce as their online storefront. BigCommerce provides site hosting and a ton of customization possibilities, just like Shopify and Wix. You must, however, buy and register your domain name elsewhere before porting it over because BigCommerce does not allow domain name registration.
The ability to sell internationally, use SEO tools, and sell through several channels on social media and other markets are all useful benefits. However, complexity also comes along with these strong characteristics.
A big part of Grace & Lace’s decision to leave the platform was due to its lack of flexibility and usability. To benefit from more than simply Shopify’s eCommerce platform, it switched to Shopify Plus, the enterprise solution. The advantages of having a whole ecosystem of business tools from Shopify were rapidly realized by the brand.
Pros of BigCommerce:
- 100% hosted
- Comprehensive business management skills
- With numerous payment alternatives, there are no transaction fees
- Costly themes
- User-friendly design options are lacking
- Standard: $29.95/month;
- Plus: $79.95/month, or $71.95/month when paid annually;
- Pro: $299.95/month, or $269.96/month
- when paid annually; Enterprise custom pricing.
WooCommerce – Best for WordPress users
WooCommerce is particularly well-known to individuals who are familiar with WordPress because it is essentially an addition to the well-known blogging platform. WooCommerce is WordPress’ response to people looking to do online business because WordPress is typically used for content-driven websites rather than e-commerce.
Many of the selling capabilities on WordPress are basic or require the addition of third-party apps because it is first and foremost a content management system (CMS) and then an eCommerce platform. Additionally, even if you can add a ton of apps and plug-ins to your store, the more you utilize them, the more probable it is that you’ll break something. And given the lack of available help, this isn’t always a risk worth taking.
WooCommerce is generally fragile and unreliable, which makes it challenging to both create and operate online stores. Additionally, since it’s not hosted, managing your website hosting will be an additional effort and expense for you. Additionally, it is not PCI compliant, putting your company in danger while processing payments.
- A fantastic choice for WordPress users
- Open source and very adaptable
- More than 6,000 WordPress plug-ins and integrations
- Expert and active developer community
- Requires WordPress efficiency
- Exorbitant hosting, development, maintenance, and other costs
WooCommerce is free to use and set up. However, there are fees for web hosting which can be as little as $3.95 per month and as high as $5,000.
Squarespace – Best for High-Quality Templates
Squarespace is the next website builder that offers an e-commerce platform option. Similar to Wix, Squarespace makes use of drag-and-drop technology, which is simple to operate. Both systems need to be significantly modified in order to include eCommerce functionality because they are typically used to develop websites rather than as online selling platforms.
If you want to sell products online, Squarespace needs to be set up carefully and patiently. Additionally, there are only two payment interfaces available: Stripe and PayPal. You could even outsource it if you have the money.
After you’ve configured the e-commerce feature, Squarespace includes functional inventory management capabilities. Selling gift cards or subscription-based goods is another feature included with higher-tiered subscriptions.
You can easily use the Shopify Buy Button to transform your website into a fully functional online store if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of Squarespace’s back end.
You can add a little embeddable code to your Squarespace website for only $5/month, and Shopify’s sophisticated e-commerce capabilities will take care of the rest.
You can add an unlimited number of products, use a secure checkout with more than 100 different payment gateways that are compatible, track sales and growth trends, quickly connect orders and shipping, and gain support for international tax and currency rates with them.
Pros of Squarespace:
- Without hosting, you can forget about server costs and upkeep.
- Templates created by professionals
- Free of transaction costs
- Not limited to e-commerce
- Very little multichannel sales
- No telephone support
- CSS and HTML themes are challenging to change
- Basic Commerce: $30/month, or $26/month when paid annually;
- Advanced Commerce: $46/month, or $40/month when paid annually;
- Enterprise pricing is also available.
Big Cartel – Best for Artists and Creatives
Big Cartel is a fully hosted eCommerce platform and website builder created exclusively for makers, artists, and crafters—the kinds of companies you’d anticipate finding on Etsy. Big Cartel offers marketing tools, domain name registration, and templates that may be customized.
Although you can alter the style and feel of your website, Big Cartel only allows sellers to upload five photographs per product. It is far more difficult to scale a multichannel business using this platform because there are few options for payment and integration.
As your business and product collections expand, the cost might get quite high because pricing is determined by how many things you sell.
Pros of Big Cartel:
- Online setup and selling are both free.
- Simple to build a store
- Fantastic for artists
- Minimal customizability
- Lacking in-depth and high-quality features
- Five products are free; fifty cost $9.99 per month
- 250 cost $19.99 per month
- five hundred cost $29.99 per month.
Weebly – Most Affordable for Small Businesses
Square is the owner of the straightforward website builder Weebly. If you want a modest, low-maintenance internet store, it works great. Although Weebly’s platform doesn’t require any technical knowledge to use, it only provides a very simple web store.
On Weebly, you may create a store for nothing. The compromise? Until you purchase a paid eCommerce package, you cannot use your own domain name or remove the in-app advertisements.
Pros of Weebly:
- Simple and user-friendly editor
- Mobile application
- Rapid site loading
- Adaptable themes
- Little blogging equipment
- Editing photos offline
- Costlier, superior support
Why eCommerce Website Platform is Important for Business?
Having a strong online presence is essential for businesses to flourish and succeed in today’s fast-paced digital environment. Selecting the ideal eCommerce website platform is one of the key building blocks of starting an online business.
Your online business’s performance can be strongly impacted by the platform you choose, which can have an impact on everything from user experience to search engine results.
I’ll discuss the value of an eCommerce website platform for your company and why selecting wisely is essential to outranking your rivals in the fiercely competitive online environment.
1: Understanding the Significance of ECommerce Website Platforms
Your online store’s core is an eCommerce website platform that makes it possible to showcase your products, conduct transactions, and provide seamless client experiences. It offers the framework necessary to properly and efficiently manage your internet business.
Choosing the best platform requires careful thought because there are so many options accessible today, each with its own special features and functionalities.
2: User Experience and Conversion Rates
The user experience of your website can be greatly impacted by an easy-to-use eCommerce website platform, which will enhance conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Customers frequently leave websites that are challenging to use or take a long time to load.
A platform that has been properly optimized will guarantee easy navigation, quick page loading, and responsive design, giving your visitors a positive shopping experience and eventually increasing conversion rates.
3: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits
SEO is the secret to success when it comes to outranking your rivals on Google. When it comes to making your website search engine-friendly, an eCommerce website platform can be really helpful.
The ability to customize meta tags, create clear URLs, and use sitemaps, all of which are necessary for search engine crawlers to properly index and rank your pages, makes some platforms naturally more SEO-friendly than others.
Utilizing these SEO advantages will help your website rise in the search engine results, increasing organic traffic and attracting more potential clients to your online store.
4: Mobile Responsiveness
Having a mobile-responsive website is not just a choice in today’s mobile-driven market; it is a need. Online traffic is increasingly coming from mobile devices, and Google gives mobile responsiveness a high priority when deciding search ranks.
An eCommerce website platform that is well-chosen will guarantee that your website looks and performs smoothly on a variety of devices, from smartphones to tablets, offering a consistent user experience that Google rewards with higher ranks.
5: Security and Trustworthiness
Customers are getting more worried about the security of their personal information when making purchases online. Strong security features, such as SSL encryption and secure payment gateways, will be incorporated into a dependable and safe eCommerce website platform, fostering client confidence and enticing them to make purchases on your website.
Additionally, Google takes security into account when determining rankings, so selecting a platform that emphasizes website security can help you perform better in search results.
6: Customization and Flexibility
Every business is different, thus it’s essential to have an eCommerce website platform that can be customized and is flexible in order to match your exact goals and stand out in the crowded industry.
Some platforms include a wide range of customization choices, allowing you to create a website that complements your brand identity and gives visitors a positive experience.
A flexible platform also has the advantage of allowing you to expand your online store and add new features as your company expands.
7: Integration with Third-Party Tools and Services
Integration with third-party tools and services is essential for improving the operation of your online store and streamlining numerous processes.
An eCommerce website platform with well-integrated payment gateways, email marketing software, inventory management systems, and analytics tools can increase productivity while saving time and effort.
A platform with a strong ecosystem of integrations can have a favorable impact on your search engine rankings because Google also rewards smooth integrations.
8: Data Analytics and Insights
Making data-driven decisions and enhancing your online business requires an understanding of the functionality of your website and user behavior.
You may analyze important metrics, spot trends, and develop wise marketing and business plans with the help of an eCommerce website platform that provides in-depth data analytics and insights.
You can improve your SEO efforts and raise your chances of outranking rivals in the search results by utilizing data-driven insights.
9: Scalability and Future Growth
Your website needs to adapt to the changing needs as your business grows and changes. Your online store must be scalable in order to accommodate additional traffic, inventory, and transactions without sacrificing performance.
A scalable eCommerce website platform enables smooth expansion and flexibility, laying the groundwork for your success in the future.
Making the best choice for your eCommerce website platform is crucial since it may have a big impact on how successful your company is online. In order to outrank your rivals on Google, the features and capabilities of your selected platform are crucial.
These features and capabilities range from user experience and search engine optimization to security and scalability. You may establish an online store that draws clients and performs better in search engine results by paying attention to the factors outlined above and making an informed choice.
Keep in mind that your eCommerce website platform is the foundation of your online business and not just a tool to achieve a goal. Therefore, put some time and effort into selecting the ideal platform, and the results will be improved visibility, improved rankings, and a successful online business.
It’s an exciting chance to build your online store on the best eCommerce website platform. You have the information to start a profitable eCommerce business after reading this thorough tutorial.
Keep in mind to prioritize customer happiness, ongoing development, and staying current with market developments. Take on obstacles, be creative in your thinking, and your eCommerce business will succeed.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q#1: What is an eCommerce website platform?
An eCommerce website platform is a piece of software that gives companies the ability to build, administer, and run their online storefronts. It gives both retailers and customers the tools and services they need for a smooth shopping experience.
Q#2: How do I choose the right eCommerce website platform for my business?
Consider variables including your company’s needs, your budget, scalability, ease of use, accessible integrations, and customer support when choosing an eCommerce website platform.
Q#3: Can I build my online store without any technical knowledge?
Yes, a lot of platforms for eCommerce websites provide user-friendly interfaces that make it simple for non-technical individuals to create and maintain their online stores.
Q#4: What are the essential features my online store should have?
Secure payment gateways, responsiveness to mobile devices, product classification, inventory control, and an easy checkout procedure are a few of the characteristics that are very needed.
Q#5: How can I attract more visitors to my eCommerce website?
To draw more customers to your online store, use SEO tactics, compelling content creation, social media marketing, and promotions.
Q#16: Is it necessary to have a mobile-responsive website?
Absolutely! A mobile-responsive website is essential for delivering the best user experience and maximizing revenues given the growing use of mobile devices for online shopping.